I am slowly adjusting to my new role as my father's advocate. I used to call my parents once a week and see how they are doing
now I call them everyday. I check up on my dad and see if he is taking his medicines and if he is exercising. I have to take him on his word since I am here and he is in New York. I don't always have confidence that he does what he needs to do. I just have his word and the sound of his voice to get the whole picture.
It's like your kids. You can tell if something is on their minds or if they are not feeling well just by how they look or act. This is a skill I have had to sharpen within these past few months in regards to my parents.
I have time and distance against me and now I am working against my fathers impatience. My dad wants to feel better and he wants to feel better now. I wish I could help him but what he has takes time and lots of it.
He has endured a great deal of pain and dad has always hidden it from me. He is slowly becoming more open with me. As I said before, I am here and he is in NY and he doesn't want me to worry about him. I can understand but I told him that I will worry whether he tells me the truth or not.
Dad told me he wants to go to another doctor about this arthritis and gout. He feels the doctor is not doing enough. Dad believes that she will just prescribes pills. I asked when he last saw her. He tells me two years ago.
I told him that things have changed since then and her treatment may be different and would be more aggressive. I seemed to have to repeat this same kind of argument with my dad on many occasions. Dad has a phobia with regards to anything medical.
How he got away with refills for his medicines without seeing the doctors amazes me. I have accompanied him to several doctors appointments and each time has been an eye opener. Dad loves to spin a story but he cannot do that anymore, when I get the cold hard truth from the doctors. I have always seen through him but that didn't stop him from trying.
As I have visited and talked with him, he realizes I am in it for the long haul and that I want to help. He worries about work and I am in a position that I have a very understanding boss. My boss knows my family comes first and work is slow that I can miss some time. I informed my boss of what I am looking at and what is needed of me in the role of advocate.
In order for me to be more effective in my new role, I need to know everything. I have to go back to New York and get all the names of his doctors, write down all his medicines, and get phone numbers and fax numbers to the pharmacies. I need to have a crystal clear picture of what my father needs in order to get him the right road to recovery.
It all starts with open and honest communication between my father and myself.